Alex Salmond Will Lead a New Scottish Party Into May Election
(Bloomberg) -- Former Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond, whose dispute with his successor has dominated local politics in recent weeks, will lead a new nationalist party that will contest an election in May.
The Alba Party was founded with the aim to create a “super-majority” for independence in the Scottish Parliament. Salmond, 66, said on Friday the plan is to offer an alternative to the Scottish National Party on the ballot paper so that voters can maximize support for pro-independence lawmakers in the proportional representation system.
The annoucement comes just days after the latest twist in his feud with Nicola Sturgeon, the SNP leader and head of the government in Edinburgh, that has threatened to influence the election campaign.
An independent inquiry found that Sturgeon didn’t break the ministerial code in her handling of harassment claims against Salmond, while a parliamentary one decided that she misled lawmakers. Salmond was acquitted by a court last year of sexual assault, and a judge earlier had ruled that the way the Scottish government had investigated the claims had been unlawful.
Sturgeon’s public falling out with Salmond, her former friend and mentor, has gripped Scotland ahead of the election on May 6 that’s being framed as a vote on whether Scotland has the right to another referendum on leaving the U.K. The SNP is seeking a majority in the May election to exert more pressure on the government in London to grant the vote on independence.
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